Thank you so much for stopping by my site! My name is Brianna and I live on the beautiful Central Coast of California. I am a wife, mom of two beautiful babies, a visual artist, a dance teacher and choreographer and a student of global cuisine. I'm cooking my way around the world, one country at a time.
Towards the end of 2017 I was eagerly looking for ways to expand my skills in the kitchen and familiarize myself with new and unique ingredients. I wanted to challenge myself and learn as much as possible and I decided that cooking a meal from every country in the world would be a fun and exciting way to go about this. Going in alphabetical order I would cook one meal a week until I had cooked a meal from every country in the world (a four year endeavor). So in December of 2017 I started on my adventure by cooking a meal from Afghanistan. It went incredibly well and made me even more excited for the weeks and meals to come.
When I started this project I didn’t have any intentions of sharing it with anyone other than my unwilling Facebook friends. I wasn’t planning on starting a blog and I definitely wasn’t planning on writing my own recipes. I just thought it would be a fun activity for my family and a way to teach my son (then two years old) about other cultures. However, it quickly became apparent to me just how much I was falling in love with this little venture and my enthusiasm took over a bit. Researching, planning, cooking and eating these meals became a huge part of my life and brought me so much joy. Now I want to share it with everyone. Encouragement to start a blog came from friends and family on social media and that was the little push I needed to make this happen.
I would like to emphasize that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, none at all. I am not a chef, I am not a writer, I am not a photographer. Yet here I am trying to write about meals I’ve cooked and posting pictures of said meals, it will be clumsy. And a great majority of the things I make along the way I have never made before. I wish I had a grandparent from every country in the world that could teach me techniques and recipes passed down through generations, but I don’t. I am not an expert on any type of cuisine. What I am an expert in is trying new things and attempting to have fun while I do. I’d be honored if you wanted to follow along while I attempt this. And just maybe it will encourage one or two of you to take a few risks and bring a little bit of the world into your kitchen.
Being a visual artist, I wanted to create a tangible souvenir of this journey. That is where the sketchbook comes in. Once page per country. Doodles and recipes are fun and you should check it out here.
A Note About Authenticity
My general rule when it comes to the authenticity of the meals I make is to be as authentic as possible whenever possible and reasonable. Many of the global dishes I cook are traditionally made with specific tools or appliances. As much as I would love to buy new hardware for my kitchen every week, it isn't really feasible from a budget or space perspective. When it comes to some of the more exotic ingredients, I'm usually able to find or order things ahead of time. But again, sometimes it just isn't feasible or reasonably affordable. So there will be substitutions and improvisations made along the way. And sometimes I just want to put my own spin on things! If you are looking for truly authentic and traditional recipes I would recommend looking for a source from the country in question (I will be posting my sources along the way!) I like to think of my recipes as a way to make global dishes more approachable and accessible.
A Note About My Recipes
Like I said, I never planned on writing my own recipes in this adventure. However, so often I found that my process of researching and planning dishes almost required that I do. Typically what I do when researching my global meals is find at least 4 or 5 recipes of a dish. This allows me to see which ingredients are necessary and which are potentially optional. Thus I'm able to pick and choose what I include in a recipe while keeping the integrity of the dish.
I am terrible at following recipes, truly. I never pay attention to amounts, I always just end up adding as much of an ingredient as I want. Because I never pay attention to amounts, attempting to write recipes with amounts is very difficult for me. You'll notice in my sketchbook that there are rarely amounts. It is just the way I like to cook. I do realize, however, that most people probably wouldn't appreciate seeing things like "as much as you want" or "a good amount of" instead of "2 cups" or "1 tbsp" when trying to follow a recipe. So I'm attempting to write my own and incorporate amounts but it may be awkward. This is something I look forward to improving upon along the way.
I never include amounts for salt in any of my recipes. I do believe it is something that should be done to taste. I personally like things on the salty side (or I want every element of a dish to be seasoned) but I recognize this is a personal preference. I do highly recommend that you season every step of a recipe instead of all at once or at the end. This is probably the most important thing I have learned in my adventures in cooking. Season. Every. Step.
I am in the camp that believes there is no such thing as too much garlic. I don't know if my family actually realizes just how much garlic I put in things. But, again, I realize this is a preference so I've attempted to reign this in while writing recipes. Just understand that when one of my recipes calls for 2 cloves of garlic, that means I probably used at least 5 or 6 (at least).
This is another area that I believe should be done to preference. I do my best when writing recipes to use amounts I think would appeal to most people. But please feel free to play around this the amounts based on your preferences. If there is a spice you particularly like or don't like adjust the amounts based on this! Recipes are suggestions, not scripture.